MANILA — Perlas Pilipinas cruised to its fourth straight win in the same number of games in the SEABA Women’s Championship with a 72-56 romp of Indonesia at the Bukit Sendirit Stadium in Malacca on Friday night.
Perlas caught fire early on, scoring 26 points in the first quarter and opening a double-digit spread that was stretched to as high as 17 in the second quarter.
The Indonesians tried to mount a comeback, cutting the lead to as low as seven in the third, but the Filipinas put up a stifling defense on their opponents in the fourth quarter that helped them rebuild the 17-point cushion as they avenged their SEA Games loss in style.
Allana Lim led Perlas, which has now seized the top spot with host nation Malaysia taking a bye for Friday, with 24 points, nine rebounds, and two assists, while Cindy Resultay added 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Sumiati Sumiati and Fanny Kalumata each chipped in 13 markers for Indonesia, which dropped to a 2-2 card.
All eyes will now be on Saturday night’s grudge match between Perlas and Malaysia at 8 p.m. at the said venue.
With the tournament only being decided on which team has the best record, the match between the Malaysians, who are also unbeaten at 3-0, and the Filipinas could serve as the championship game. Both teams still have Thailand in their remaining schedule even as the Malaysians also have Laos, which the Filipinas mauled by 147 points on Wednesday night, in their schedule.
Coach Patrick Aquino sees Malaysia as a “model” of Southeast Asia’s women’s basketball excellence.
“Malaysia is a team you want to emulate. They’ve been together for so long. The program is solid, the system is great and they have the strong support both by the association and the government,” Aquino said. PNA/northboundasia.com